Online examinations have become more than just a trend in India. The exponential rise in online learning has made online exams a valuable resource for educational institutions and corporates. While students opt for competitive exams like CAT, JEE, GATE and so on, working professionals opt for exams like UPSC, GMAT, Bank PO or CAT. The common denominator here is online examinations.
Pen and paper exams are already being supplemented, or rather substituted by online assessment platforms, thanks to rapid digitalization. A study by KPMG states that the online examination industry is expected to grow into a staggering USD 11 billion market by 2021. Rightly so since it is the second-largest e-learning market after the US. Let’s get a scope of the impact of e-assessments in India.
Education ecosystem in India
The formal education system in India is multi-tiered with ∼ 1.5 million schools and more than 260 million enrolments each year ∼ over 51,649 colleges and 993 universities (2018-19) catering to 27.5M under-graduates and 4M post-graduate students. As far as online education goes, exams are further bifurcated into:
Competitive exams preparation-
These online programs are aimed at coaching the students (primarily tier 2 and tier 3 cities) for competitive exams in engineering, medicine, law, finance, government sector, etc.
Reskilling and online certification-
These online courses and online assessments are targeted towards working professionals. They assist users in skill enhancement, proficiency improvement, and competency development through online certification.
Advantages of Online examinations:
Ease of access-
Increased internet penetration in India has allowed nearly tripled the distance education enrollments. Students can appear for competitive exams from their homes without the added stress of exam halls and traveling.
Saves time and money-
When exams are conducting online, educational institutes save on printing costs, logistics, and the costs of hiring onsite proctors. Automatically graded multiple-choice online examinations are extremely convenient and save time. Moreover, online assessments allow candidates to save on commuting time.
Reduces the risk of exam cheating-
With proper proctoring policies in place, online exams can be made cheat-proof. The risk of impersonation and identity theft can be greatly reduced with online proctoring software.
Disadvantages of Online examinations:
Susceptible to fraud-
As mentioned above, online examinations can be very susceptible to impersonation and cheating. In the absence of a physical supervisor, students can resort to unfair means.
Cannot accommodate all exam modes-
Online exams are often restricted to multiple-choice questions, which can be inefficient in assessing a student’s topic mastery. Exams in the form of debates, essays, case-based questions and oral exams (in case of vivas or interviews) are difficult to conduct online.
However, you can consider using an online proctoring software and a testing platform like Procortrack. It facilitates secure online tests through continuous identity verification, thereby mitigating exam cheating. Proctortrak’s testing platform lets you conduct exams in various forms like MCQs, True/False questions, dropdown questions, Open-ended questions, Rating scale questions, Coding simulators, and even video tests.
While online exams have their strengths and flaws, the pros surely outshine the cons. In an ever-evolving education scenario, online exams, and e-assessments are at the center of it all. It can be a powerful tool to educate students from diverse backgrounds and locations.